Sydney trainer Matthew Smith has taken Fierce Impact away from his temporary home at Caulfield for a solid work-out at Sandown ahead of the All-Star Mile.
Smith said Fierce Impact needed a change of scenery to switch him on and blow away the cobwebs ahead of Saturday’s second running of the $5 million All Star Mile.
The exercise at Sandown worked with Smith and race jockey Craig Williams pleased with how the Japanese-bred horse went about his work.
“He’s quite a lazy horse in his own surroundings so we thought we’d come out to Sandown to stimulate him a bit,” Smith said.
“We wanted to see him chase today, do a little bit of work and luckily we got the right bit of work into him.”
After a first-up second to Alabama Express in the C F Orr Stakes at Caulfield and finishing third to Te Akau Shark in the Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick on February 29, Smith left the decision on an All-Star Mile start to the ownership group.
He said there were pros and cons for both the All-Star Mile and Group One Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 21.
Fierce Impact is a dual Group One winner under handicap conditions, but a Group One weight-for-age win would enhance the horse’s value at stud.
“But these races are at that level anyway and people understand that,” Smith said.
“What we needed to see was if he came out of the Chipping Norton in good shape, bright enough to bring him back to Melbourne.
“When he bounced out of that race, it was probably an easy decision to make.
“He did very well two or three days after the race, so we brought him straight to Melbourne last Wednesday and he’s done well since.”
Williams has ridden Fierce Impact three times in Melbourne, for two Group One wins and a Group One second.
He said Smith does not need his help training the horse but was happy to provide feedback that Fierce Impact was in top shape.
“He didn’t have the blinkers on this morning and he wasn’t out here to beat the clock,” Williams said.
“But he came out and achieved what we wanted him to, have a nice gallop, a nice blow on a beautiful, safe surface and he came through that with flying colours.”
Fierce Impact eased to $9 in Saturday’s race after drawing barrier 12 in the 15-horse field.